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18
Aug 09

Custom Arc Gradient Filter Development: Reynard Corporation successfully completes a Navy Phase II SBIR development

Reynard Corporation has successfully completed a Phase II SBIR development program for the Navy by delivering a specialized, multi-functional optical filter.

Arc Gradient Filter - Custom Optical Manufacturing

San Clemente, CA - Reynard Corporation, a leading global supplier of optical components and custom thin film coatings has successfully completed a Phase II SBIR development program for the Navy by delivering a specialized, multi-functional optical filter.
The filter integrated several optical functions into a single device, including:

  • Narrow bandpass filter
  • Wide out-of-band blocking
  • Novel arc-gradient variable filter


The solution was based on a combination of custom designed thin film filters, utilization of specialized filter glass, and the development of proprietary tooling for the implementation of the gradient function. The final filter met the environmental and durability requirements of MIL-PRF-13839B and MIL-C-48497A.

The arc-gradient function was a key element that challenged the leading global optical supplier in one of its core competencies. Not only did the gradient have to follow a very precise exponential function that changed optical density from OD 0 to OD 6 in less than 0.25 inches, but it had to make this transition in a radial-arc segment. Specialized coating tooling, as well as metrology instrumentation were designed and built to implement and validate the gradient function.

The filter design targeted air-to-air missiles commonly used in Navy fighters, and can be adapted for the specific needs of other optical target detectors. The delivered filter met the requirements of the program, which was to design a precision filter that would fit into a small space and provide the necessary optical filtering compatible with the unique detector design. Reynard Corporation was able to leverage from their custom design experience and defined an approach that proved ultimately successful.   A Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) design approach, utilizing available discrete optical elements could not be used due to the system requirements and limited space.

 “Using custom optical element solutions to combine multiple optical functions into a single element instead of a COTS based solution saves in overall system weight, space, and cost,” says Randy Reynard, Vice President and SBIR Program Manager, “It’s a fallacy that custom solutions are always more expensive than COTS solutions, especially when multiple optical functions are required, or large volumes are needed.”

About Reynard Corporation

Established in 1984, Reynard Corporation designs and manufactures precision thin film optical products for a global customer base, both military and commercial. In-house operation capabilities include design, fabrication, photolithography, coating, and sub-assembly for a one-stop solution. Contact us for a free optical reference and product catalog, or visit our webpage for online ordering and reference at http://www.reynardcorp.com, 949-366-8866.

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